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Magnetic actuated wear indicator for personal care appliances

Info

Publication number
WO2007039879A1
WO2007039879A1 PCT/IB2006/053636 IB2006053636W WO2007039879A1 WO 2007039879 A1 WO2007039879 A1 WO 2007039879A1 IB 2006053636 W IB2006053636 W IB 2006053636W WO 2007039879 A1 WO2007039879 A1 WO 2007039879A1
Authority
WO
Grant status
Application
Patent type
Prior art keywords
member
wear
indicator
magnetic
workpiece
Prior art date
Application number
PCT/IB2006/053636
Other languages
French (fr)
Inventor
Ytsen Wielstra
Original Assignee
Koninklijke Philips Electronics, N.V.
U.S. Philips Corporation
Priority date (The priority date is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the date listed.)
Filing date
Publication date

Links

Classifications

    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A46BRUSHWARE
    • A46BBRUSHES
    • A46B15/00Other brushes; Brushes with additional arrangements
    • A46B15/0002Arrangements for enhancing monitoring or controlling the brushing process
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A46BRUSHWARE
    • A46BBRUSHES
    • A46B15/00Other brushes; Brushes with additional arrangements
    • A46B15/0002Arrangements for enhancing monitoring or controlling the brushing process
    • A46B15/0004Arrangements for enhancing monitoring or controlling the brushing process with a controlling means
    • A46B15/001Arrangements for enhancing monitoring or controlling the brushing process with a controlling means with means indicating the remaining useful life of brush
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A46BRUSHWARE
    • A46BBRUSHES
    • A46B2200/00Brushes characterized by their functions, uses or applications
    • A46B2200/10For human or animal care
    • A46B2200/1066Toothbrush for cleaning the teeth or dentures
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A61MEDICAL OR VETERINARY SCIENCE; HYGIENE
    • A61CDENTISTRY; APPARATUS OR METHODS FOR ORAL OR DENTAL HYGIENE
    • A61C17/00Devices for cleaning, polishing, rinsing or drying teeth, teeth cavities or prostheses; Saliva removers; Dental appliances for receiving spittle
    • A61C17/16Power-driven cleaning or polishing devices

Abstract

The wear indicator (10) is for a workpiece portion of a personal care appliance such as a power toothbrush (IS) . The wear indicator includes a member of water-soluble material which has magnetic particles positioned therein. Upon repeated contacts with water, which correlates with use of the device, the member dissolves or swells, depending on the material selected. A magnet positioned adjacent the member influences the position of the magnetic particles in the member, aligning them into a three-dimensional image which is recognizable by the user, wherein the appearance of the image correlates with sufficient wear on the workpiece that it should be replaced.

Description

MAGNETIC ACTUATED WEAR INDICATOR FOR PERSONAL CARE APPLIANCES

This invention relates generally to personal care appliances, and more specifically concerns a wear indicator for such an appliance, such as for a brushhead portion of a power toothbrush.

It is typically important for those personal care appliances having a workpiece which will deteriorate and lose effectiveness after a certain number of uses to incorporate a reliable wear indicator within the appliance which indicates clearly to the user that it is time to replace the workpiece. It is important that the indication be reliable relative to the actual physical condition of the workpiece and further that the indication be clear and readily interpretable by a user. Still further, it is usually important that a wear indicator be convenient to implement in a particular appliance of interest and not add significant additional expense to the appliance.

Wear indicators are well known for various appliances. These include devices which count the number of uses of the appliance, as well as devices which detect actual physical wear on the workpiece which occurs because of use. For example, in the case of a toothbrush, as the bristles wear away during use, various indicator arrangements within the bristles are revealed, including a different color, as the wear on the bristles reaches a selected depth.

Accordingly, it is desirable to have a workpiece wear indicator which is both reliable, i.e. the indication provided correlates with the actual physical condition of the workpiece, and which is clearly interpretable by a user that it is time to replace the workpiece. As indicated above, one example of such a personal care appliance and a workpiece associated therewith which uses a wear indicator is a brushhead portion of an electric toothbrush. Another example is a blade or cutting head on an electric shaver. Other examples will readily occur to one skilled in the art.

Accordingly, the invention is a wear indicator for a workpiece portion of a personal care appliance, comprising a first member having magnetic particles therein, wherein the member is characterized by a reaction to repeated contact with water over time such that as the appliance is used, the layer member gradually changes state, permitting the magnetic particles therein to become oriented, under the influence of an adjacent magnet member, into a recognizable image, which indicates that the workpiece should be replaced; and a magnet member positioned close to the first member, such that it can influence the position of the magnetic particles in the first member into said recognizable image upon a sufficient change of state from the original condition of the first member, wherein the appearance of said recognizable image indicates that the workpiece should be replaced.

Figure 1 shows a personal care appliance, in particular an electric toothbrush, showing in general the position of the wear indicator of the present invention.

Figures 2 A and 2B show a first embodiment of the present wear indicator.

Figure 3 shows a representative image which is presented to the user when the wear indicator determines that it is time to replace the workpiece.

Figure 4A and 4B show a second embodiment of the wear indicator.

Figure 1 shows a wear indicator of the present invention incorporated in an electric toothbrush. The wear indicator, shown generally at 10, is embedded into a base portion 12 of brushhead 14, which comprises a part of a conventional electric toothbrush 16. The wear indicator 10 can be used for a wide variety of electric toothbrush arrangements. Also, it should be understood that the wear indicator 10 described herein can be used on other personal care appliances which include a workpiece which requires periodic replacement for continuing effective action.

A first embodiment of the wear indicator 10 is shown in Figures 2 A and 2B. The wear indicator includes a water-soluble material member/layer 20. The size of layer 20 can vary, but in one embodiment, it could be 10 100 microns thick. The primary requirement is that the magnetic particles have space to move (reorient) when a magnetic field forces the particles into a different orientation and such that the effect is visible.

Examples of appropriate materials comprising the water-soluble member 20 include water-soluble polymers, such as polyvinyl alcohol (PVA), polyvinyl pyrrolidon (PVP) and other similar materials. Layer 20 has magnetic particles 22 embedded therein. The magnetic particles 22 can comprise basically any material which is responsive to magnetic action, such as various iron oxides and other materials, including specialized pigments which respond to magnetic action, such as iron oxide coated flake-like pigments. The particles 22 are embedded in member 20 in a random fashion with no particular arrangement or oriented state.

The wear indicator 10 also includes a magnet member 24 positioned adjacent to or in contact with the lower surface 25 of member 20. During use of the appliance, the member/layer 20 will come into contact with water. Member 20 becomes wet and either begins to slowly dissolve or to swell. At a reliable point, following sufficient dissolution/swelling of the material in layer 20, due to repeated contacts with water as a result of repeated uses, the particles 22 will gradually move/reorient themselves under the influence of magnetic element 24, until they form a three-dimensional image, along the magnetic field lines produced by the magnetic member. The size of the magnet and the orientation of the magnetic poles will determine the visual effect. The three-dimensional image indicates clearly to the user that replacement of the workpiece, e.g. the toothbrush brushhead, is appropriate. Such an image is shown at 26 in Figure 3. The round 3 D image 26 is produced by the use of a round magnet. Other image configurations can be produced using different shaped magnet elements. Figure 2B shows the reorientation of particles 22 into the 3 D image of Figure 3, from the planar arrangement shown in Figure 2A.

The sensitivity of the wear indicator 10 can be changed in several ways. First, the sensitivity of member 20 can be varied by adjusting the chemical composition of the material and, in the case of polymers, adjusting the crosslink density. This will change the rate/manner of dissolution/swelling of the water-soluble member, so as to provide an accurate, reliable indication of wear of the workpiece. The strength of the magnet member 24 can also be varied. Further, different magnet configurations can be used which have the capability of producing particular image forms.

Figures 4 A and 4B show another embodiment of the invention, which includes a structure similar to Figures 2A and 2B, with a water-soluble, magnetic particle-containing member 40 and a magnet member 42. This embodiment includes an upper layer 44 of water-soluble material on top of member 40. Member 44 has no magnetic particles, but is characterized by gradually dissolving upon contact with water, and hence delaying the exposure of the active member 40 (with the magnetic particles) to water. The thickness of the delay layer 44 can be adjusted so that the unit as a whole can provide an accurate indication of wear, based on use. Figure 4B shows the delay layer 44 completely dissolved, and the realignment of magnetic particles 48 within member 40 into a recognizable configuration, such as shown in Figure 3.

Hence, it should be understood that various arrangements of water-soluble elements can be used in combination with a magnetic member to provide a clear and accurate indication of workpiece wear for the purpose of an appropriate replacement time. Although a preferred embodiment of the invention has been disclosed for purposes of illustration, it should be understood that various changes, modifications and substitutions can be incorporated within in the invention without departing from the spirit of the invention which is defined by the claims which follows.

Claims

CLAIMSWhat is claimed is:
1. A wear indicator (10) for a workpiece portion of a personal care appliance, comprising: a first member (20) having magnetic particles (22) therein, wherein the member (20) is characterized by a reaction to repeated contact with water over time such that as the appliance is used, the layer member (20) gradually changes state, permitting the magnetic particles (22) therein to become oriented, under the influence of an adjacent magnet member (24), into a recognizable image, which indicates that the workpiece should be replaced; and a magnet member (24) positioned close to the first member (20), such that it can influence the position of the magnetic particles (20) in the first member (20) into said recognizable image (26) upon a sufficient change of state from the original condition of the first member (20), wherein the appearance of said recognizable image indicates that the workpiece should be replaced.
2. The wear indicator (10) of claim 1, wherein the recognizable image (26) is three-dimensional.
3. The wear indicator (10) of claim 1, wherein the first member (20) comprises a material which gradually dissolves upon repeated contact with water, and wherein the first member (20) is sufficiently dissolved, after a sufficient number of uses has occurred, to reliably indicate that the workpiece should be replaced, to permit the orientation of the particles in the recognizable image.
4. The wear indicator (10) of claim 1, wherein the first member (20) comprises a material which gradually swells upon repeated contact with water, and wherein the first member (20) is sufficiently swollen after a sufficient number of uses has occurred to reliably indicate that the workpiece should be replaced, that the orientation of the particles into the recognizable shape can occur.
5. The wear indicator (10) of claim 1, including a second member (40), which is water-soluble, positioned on top of the first member, which delays contact by water with the first layer until after the second layer has dissolved, which occurs after a selected amount of use of the appliance.
6. The wear indicator (10) of claim 1, wherein the appliance is a toothbrush (16) and the workpiece is a brushhead (14) which must be periodically replaced.
7. The wear indicator (10) of claim 6, wherein the wear indicator (10) is positioned on the brushhead (14).
PCT/IB2006/053636 2005-10-04 2006-10-04 Magnetic actuated wear indicator for personal care appliances WO2007039879A1 (en)

Priority Applications (2)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
US72338505 true 2005-10-04 2005-10-04
US60/723,385 2005-10-04

Applications Claiming Priority (4)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
EP20060809502 EP1933665B1 (en) 2005-10-04 2006-10-04 Magnetic actuated wear indicator for personal care appliances
DE200660005947 DE602006005947D1 (en) 2005-10-04 2006-10-04 Magnetically actuated wear indicator for body care equipment
US12089244 US20080295760A1 (en) 2005-10-04 2006-10-04 Magnetic Actuated Wear Indicator for Personal Care Appliances
JP2008534138A JP2009509710A (en) 2005-10-04 2006-10-04 Wear indicator acting magnetic to a personal care device

Publications (1)

Publication Number Publication Date
WO2007039879A1 true true WO2007039879A1 (en) 2007-04-12

Family

ID=37709676

Family Applications (1)

Application Number Title Priority Date Filing Date
PCT/IB2006/053636 WO2007039879A1 (en) 2005-10-04 2006-10-04 Magnetic actuated wear indicator for personal care appliances

Country Status (6)

Country Link
US (1) US20080295760A1 (en)
JP (1) JP2009509710A (en)
CN (1) CN101277629A (en)
DE (1) DE602006005947D1 (en)
EP (1) EP1933665B1 (en)
WO (1) WO2007039879A1 (en)

Families Citing this family (4)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
CA2573463C (en) * 2006-01-06 2013-07-23 Craig Edward Harder Magnetic wear device
US8202230B2 (en) * 2009-08-20 2012-06-19 Colgate-Palmolive Company Oral care implement having a liquid collection system
ES2540233T3 (en) * 2013-04-18 2015-07-09 Refractory Intellectual Property Gmbh & Co. Kg Wear indicator in a compound system comprising refractory bricks
US9307827B2 (en) * 2014-06-13 2016-04-12 L'oreal Replacement indicating workpiece

Citations (5)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
WO1996001172A1 (en) * 1994-07-01 1996-01-18 The Gillette Company Shaving system
US5603161A (en) * 1995-06-07 1997-02-18 Welsh; Christopher A. Wear indicating shaving strip and blade assembly for a shaver
US5906834A (en) * 1992-06-15 1999-05-25 The Gillette Company Color changing matrix as wear indicator
WO2004002267A1 (en) * 2002-06-27 2004-01-08 Koninklijke Philips Electronics N.V. Wear-indicating filament
WO2004018161A2 (en) * 2002-08-21 2004-03-04 Eveready Battery Company, Inc. Razor system having razor sensors

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Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US5124217A (en) * 1990-06-27 1992-06-23 Xerox Corporation Magnetic image character recognition processes
DE69227777T2 (en) * 1991-08-23 1999-05-27 Gillette Co Matrices sustained release for dental purposes
US5667924A (en) * 1996-02-14 1997-09-16 Xerox Corporation Superparamagnetic image character recognition compositions and processes of making and using
US5947053A (en) * 1998-01-09 1999-09-07 International Business Machines Corporation Wear-through detector for multilayered parts and methods of using same
US6735802B1 (en) * 2000-05-09 2004-05-18 Koninklijke Philips Electronics N.V. Brushhead replacement indicator system for power toothbrushes
JP2002054669A (en) * 2000-08-10 2002-02-20 Sumitomo Denko Brake Systems Kk Pad for disc brake
US6904243B2 (en) * 2002-06-07 2005-06-07 Hewlett-Packard Development Company, L.P. Image forming system and method and photoconductor having wear indicator
US6786153B2 (en) * 2002-09-19 2004-09-07 Interflex Laser Engravers, Llc Printing rolls having wear indicators and methods for determining wear of printing and anilox rolls and sleeves
US20090084638A1 (en) * 2004-12-30 2009-04-02 Masterson Steven J Disc brake pad with visual wear indicator
CA2592667C (en) * 2006-07-12 2014-05-13 Jds Uniphase Corporation Stamping a coating of cured field aligned special effect flakes and image formed thereby

Patent Citations (5)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US5906834A (en) * 1992-06-15 1999-05-25 The Gillette Company Color changing matrix as wear indicator
WO1996001172A1 (en) * 1994-07-01 1996-01-18 The Gillette Company Shaving system
US5603161A (en) * 1995-06-07 1997-02-18 Welsh; Christopher A. Wear indicating shaving strip and blade assembly for a shaver
WO2004002267A1 (en) * 2002-06-27 2004-01-08 Koninklijke Philips Electronics N.V. Wear-indicating filament
WO2004018161A2 (en) * 2002-08-21 2004-03-04 Eveready Battery Company, Inc. Razor system having razor sensors

Also Published As

Publication number Publication date Type
DE602006005947D1 (en) 2009-05-07 grant
EP1933665A1 (en) 2008-06-25 application
US20080295760A1 (en) 2008-12-04 application
CN101277629A (en) 2008-10-01 application
JP2009509710A (en) 2009-03-12 application
EP1933665B1 (en) 2009-03-25 grant

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